Issuu on Google+ International Edition No. 3 Breaking Tradition Est. 2011 Issue No. 3

Editorial Office Founder / Editor in Chief Andrea Blanch Editorial Director Ellen Schweber Editorial Director Ann Schaffer Executive Director Jessica Maliszewski Creative Director Marsin Mogielski Design Director Drex Drechsel Production Chris Talbot Photo Editor Flora Kwong Editorial Intern Nicolas Viollet Intern Em Hughes Intern Victoria Zegler Intern Jillian Parra Intern Zhen Li Contributor Alessandro Sisto Contributor Sebastian Odell

Art Out Photographers Eloise Garcia Jose De Olio Miguel Rodriguez

Writers Diane Echer Kyra Kordoski Thomas Lin

Cover By ShermanŠ Detail of Untitled, 1975 9 hand-colored, black and white photographs Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures Editorial page spread (pg 2-5) Courtesy of Spencer Dempsey Jones 2012 MusÊe Magazine Reproduction without permission is prohibited International Edition No. 3 Breaking Tradition Est. 2011 Issue No. 3

5 6 - 19

Editor’s Letter Cindy Sherman Profile

by Kyra Kordoski

32 - 43

Joel Grey Interview

56 - 67

Matthew Brandt Interview

70 - 71

Final Departure

by Andrea Blanch

by Andrea Blanch

82 - 91

Fiction Story by Thomas Lin

Vik Muniz Interview

by Andrea Blanch

106 - 113

Pierre Cordier Interview

by Marsin Mogielski

126 - 133

Hank WIllis Thomas Interview

150 - 159

Rob Pruitt Interview

160 - 161

Breaking Tradition

170 - 177

Adam Weinberg Interview

188 - 197

Editors’ Picks

198 - 204

Beth DeWoody Interview

212 - 213

Next Issue: Connections

by Andrea Blanch

by Andrea Blanch

Anagram Poem by Diane Echer

by Andrea Blanch

by Andrea Blanch

Editorial Directors Ann Schaffer has been collecting cutting edge contemporary art since the early 1980s. In addition to collecting, she is an advisor to and teacher of young collectors. A current trustee to the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, she also shares her passion for art as their guest curator to the Blank Canvas Benefit: For Arts Sake. Furthermore, Ann is an officer of the Contemporary Arts Council of the MoMA, a trustee and chair of the Art Committee of the Montclair Art Museum, and a member of the Photography Committee of the Guggenheim Museum. Ann sits on the National Advisory Council and the Acquisitions Committee of the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, and a trustee, executive committee member and exhibitions partner of Independent Curators International (ICI). Ellen Schweber has been closely involved in every aspect of the contemporary art scene over the last thirty years. She has worked as an art consultant, collector and teacher. Ellen founded and chaired the Contemporary Collectors Circle at the Nassau County Museum of Art for the first eight years. Additionally, she has served on the Rose Art Museum acquisition community at Brandise University. In 2000, Ellen began her career as a teacher, offering aspiring young collectors the necessary skills to create their own exciting art collections. She has taught a range of private and corporate clients throughout New York and L.A. Ellen’s personal collection spans many decades and styles, from Minimalism, Graffiti, Neo Geo and everything in between.

Contributing Writers Diane Echer is a French-American who spent most of her life in Europe, where she practiced law. She now lives and writes in the United States. An alumna of the Writer’s Institute at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and was selected to be part of the inaugural term at the Center for Fiction’s Crime Fiction Academy. Kyra Kordoski is a writer and emerging critic based in New York. She holds a MA in Cultural Studies from the University of Leeds and is currently completing an MFA in Art Criticism and Writing at the School of Visual Arts. Kyra is a contributing editor at Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art. Thomas Lin is a senior producer at The New York Times and teaches at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism. He edits the Scientist at Work blog and has written articles on tennis, game-based military simulators, ping pong, and the open science movement. He is writing a novel about the vagaries of friendship.

Editor’s Letter While at a panel on photography during AIPAD, someone asked Christopher Phillips his thoughts on the latest trend in photography. His response was “the iPhone”. This issue’s theme, Breaking Tradition, came to me long before that illuminating discussion, but I enjoyed the validation of knowing Musée was on the right track. Christopher went on to say that everyone is a photographer now, a thought that you will find reiterated in several of the latest interviews. When I mentioned this to Adam Weinberg, the illustrious Director of the Whitney Museum, he answered, “Anybody can put a monkey in a computer and it will eventually make a sound.” Photography might be egalitarian now but there will always be those outstanding few who stand alone. Musée Magazine No. 3 Breaking Tradition is a stellar issue. Vik Muniz and Hank Willis Thomas have used their iPhones to shoot new images specifically for this issue. Joel Grey, actor and photographer who embraced the 1.3 megapixels camera phone early on and published his book 1.3 in 2009, is anticipating his new book using the iPhone 4S, The Billboard Papers. Rob Pruitt acknowledged the iPhone by creating a photographic diary of his life, iPruitt, which was exhibited four years ago at Gavin Brown’s enterprise. We are grateful to Schneider Optics, the creators of the new iPro Lens for the iPhone 4/4S, for lending a lens to Vik to experiment with. Breaking Tradition moves far beyond the iPhone in featuring the first woman to “break the glass ceiling” in the art market – the prolific, beautiful, and brilliant Cindy Sherman. Matthew Brandt strays from using a camera by capturing photos of houses and mountains from eBay and Google, and then silk-screening them with bubblegum and paint pigments that are not only conceptual but unique. Pierre Cordier, inventor of the Chemigram, makes remarkable camera-less images that are often akin to painting. Finally, Beth Rudin DeWoody as a collector and curator shows her unparalleled support and generosity toward emerging artists. Her unerring eye and “artistic sensibility”, as Ross Bleckner once observed, has created one of the most impressive and important contemporary private art collections that I have had the privilege to see. Musée Online is pleased to be simultaneously launching its new website showcasing further non-traditional photographers such as Pierre’s protégé Douglas Collins, and innovative camera inventor, Liz Sales. As always, we will continue the coverage of important art events, further interviews, videos, and more. A tremendous thank you to all of these incredibly talented artists for showing their support for emerging photographers, as well as this issue’s contributing writers Diane Echer, Kyra Kordoski, and Thomas Lin. We are immensely proud of all the emerging photographers who embraced the Breaking Tradition theme and created truly amazing imagery, using different techniques with an unconventional scope. Thank you to all the photographers, writers, and artists who contributed, our readers who support Musée, Schneider Optics for giving us their new lens, and our new partners Art Strong, ImageBrief, and Smashbox Studios, among others. Photographers today have so many ways to create imagery and there is something new everyday. Be bold, experiment, play, and don’t be afraid. On your journey you will find out not only who you are, but also how you want to express yourself through your images, techniques, and discoveries.

an unlikely conversation with

CINDY SHERMAN When Cindy Sherman’s career emerged in the 70s, photography was still largely considered inextricably bound to the molecular structures of the physical world, i.e., incapable of anything but mindless chemical repetition. It was, therefore, barred from realms of critical and generative genius out of which real art was born. Sherman fixed her camera on herself and set loose a vast collection of imagined perspectives, a deft unfurling of seemingly infinite subjectivity, an endless series of hypotheticals, that offered incisive social critique of a kind painting had never approached. Sherman’s photographs are amalgamations of scattered pieces and locations— wigs, garments, prosthetics, highways, kitchens, opulent gardens— which are brought together to form singular instances of a subject. These instances imply particular yet evasive histories, desires, and intentions. For all their vivid theatricality there is a pervasive silence cast by the distance, often blankness, of her subjects’ expressions. They suggest rather than expound a narrative. There is always a gap in meaning, which it is incumbent upon the viewer to fill. Sherman works from intuition rather than attempting to churn out illustrations of theory. Her childhood was spent dressing up and it is this instinctive trajectory that she follows to this day, without attempting to cloak her work in dense textual explanations. However, it was inevitable that the images she created would seriously engage cultural theorists, and be of particular interest to feminism. Since the Second Wave bristled through history we have been waiting patiently for the glass ceiling to finally shatter. Myths of intrinsic inequality between the sexes, and of the idealized/vilified feminine had, after all, both been exhaustively revealed as too irrational to be sustained. Sherman’s work made an invaluable contribution to such revelations. The fact that thirty years later we are still waiting makes it pertinent to consider her work in this context. The following ‘conversation’ is, like photography, a fiction created from a particular framing and arrangement of ‘real-life’ fragments. Drawn from a wide variety of sources, these pieces attempt to construct a loosely spun narrative that might offer potential for new perspectives on one of the most significant photographic careers of western history. This found-and-spliced dialogue with Sherman includes excerpts from writings and interviews with Linda Nochlin, Mira Schor, Susan Sontag and Janet Wolff. In a renowned 1971 essay, art historian Linda Nochlin posed the question, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” She has been a leading figure in the development of feminist art history. Mira Schor is a painter and writer who has, in both media, deeply considered the role of painting in contemporary art as well as the position of women in the history of art. During her life Susan Sontag made invaluable contributions to culture, in terms of both analysis and production. Major works include On Photography, Against Interpretation, and Regarding the Pain of Others. Janet Wolff is Professor Emirata at the University of Manchester. She has researched and written extensively on art, gender, culture, modernism and aesthetics.


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Musée Magazine Linda Nochlin I think women have changed the course of art and art history enormously, and—whatever anyone wants to say—it is much better for women artists today than thirty years ago. Part of the reason has to do with the nature of postmodernism and its rejection of a so-called ‘canon’ or ‘canonicity’ of certain modernist ideas. The new premises of postmodernism permit a much less absolute and superior kind of both production and interpretation.1 Cindy Sherman I’m still really competitive when it comes to, I guess, the male painters and male artists. People think because it’s photography it’s not worth as much, and because it’s a woman artist, you’re still not getting as much – there’s still definitely that happening.2 Susan Sontag From its start, photography implied the capture of the largest possible number of subjects. Painting never had so imperial a scope. The subsequent industrialization of camera technology only carried out a promise inherent in photography from its very beginning: to democratize all experiences by translating them into images.3 CS There’s a theory that there were so many women photographers at the time because we felt nobody else was doing it. We couldn’t or didn’t really want to go into the male-dominated painting world, so since there weren’t any artists who were using photographs, we thought, ‘Well, yeah, let’s just play with that.’4 Mira Schor These days it’s hard to distinguish the work you see on the premise of gender, perhaps precisely because one of the things that were historically so significant about the feminist art that was done in the 1970s was that it opened the door to content, techniques, and materials that were not allowed into fine art during the high period of modernism.5 LN Women and other marginalized groups that enter history do not simply substitute for white male authority; they change the whole paradigm. Instead of occupying the position of heroes, they bring new premises into art.6 SS I do think seeing the world photographically is the great leveler.7 Recently, photography has become almost as widely practiced an amusement as sex and dancing—which means that, like every mass art form, photography is not practiced by most people as an art—it is mainly a social rite, a defense against anxiety, and a tool of power.8 CS Sometimes I’m awestruck by how little I look like myself and say “wow, that is so not me.” But I do feel empowered by the spooky thing that is happening.9

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SS Denying that art is mere expression, the newer myth, ours, rather relates art to the mind’s need or capacity for self-estrangement.10 CS I really don’t think that the photographs are about me. It’s maybe about me maybe not wanting to be me and wanting to be all these other characters. Or at least try them on.11 LN At least in the United States, the improvement of the position of women is mainly a result of political and art activism as well as the increased consciousness of women. This has led to the actual change in the power structures, and, consequently, to the change of what constitutes valid art and art practices. In contemporary art there is, for instance, a huge emphasis on the body. The body comprehended from various perspectives is in the forefront, and it is not simply a kind of classical body, or a traditional nude. It is the body through which artists dismantle old schema, and through which the whole agenda of body politics comes up.12 JW There are problems using the female body for feminist ends. Its pre-existing meanings, as sex object, as object of the male gaze, can always prevail and re-appropriate the body, despite the intentions of the woman herself.13 CS The [centerfold] pictures were meant to be disturbing. You were meant to think, “Ah, OK, who’s this cutie here?” and then you go, “Oh! I’m sorry!” But I didn’t mean it as dogma, and some feminists said “men could look at that and think it’s a turn on, she should have a label to explain each piece.” But you can’t control how people view your work. Once it’s out there, it’s out there.14 LN Visuality is never as simple as a gender dichotomy between women and men, and this should be important for a feminist reading of art history as well. I have a number of gay men and lesbian women in my class, and they have yet another set of perspectives to bring to the discussion.15 CS We’re all products of what we want to project to the world. Even people who don’t spend any time, or think they don’t, on preparing themselves for the world out there—I think that ultimately they have for their whole lives groomed themselves to be a certain way, to present a face to the world.16 ■

Profile by Kyra Kordoski Photo credit: Alastair Thain untitled portrait of Cindy Sherman edt. 25 1992

¹ Linda Nochlin, interview by Marina Pachmanová, “Linda Nochlin: Writing History Otherly,” n.paradoxa 19 (2006): 14. 2 Cindy Sherman, interviewed by Simon Hattenstone, “Cindy Sherman: Me, myself and I” The Guardian, Saturday 15 January 2011, accessed June 2, 2012. jan/15/cindy-sherman-interview. 3 Susan Sontag, On Photography, (New York: Rosetta Books, 2005), 4-5. 4 Sherman interviewed by Hattenstone, “Cindy Sherman: Me, myself and I.” 5 Mira Schor, interview by Marina Pachmanová, “Mira Schor: Painterly and Critical Pleasures,” n.paradoxa 19 (2006): 68. 6 Nochlin, interview by Pachmanová, “Linda Nochlin,” 16. 7 Susan Sontag, interviewed by Evans Chan, “Against Postmodernism, etcetera--A Conversation with Susan Sontag,” July 2010, accessed June 2, 2012. issue.901/12.1chan.txt. 8 Sontag, On Photography, 4-5.

Cindy Sherman, interviewed by Simon Scharma, Financial Times, February 3, 2012, accessed June 2, 2012. s/2/1cec0df6-4d4f-11e1-8741-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1xCS50uEb. 10 Susan Sontag, ‘The Aesthetics of Silence’, in Styles of Radical Will (1969; London: Vintage, 1994), 3. 11 Cindy Sherman, interviewed by Mark Stevens, “How I Made It: Cindy Sherman on Her ‘Untitled Film Stills’” New York Magazine, April 7, 2008, accessed June 2, 2012. culture/45773/. 12 Nochlin, interview by Pachmanová, “Linda Nochlin,” 15. 13 Janet Wolff, Feminine Sentences: Essays on Women and Culture, (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1990), 121. 14 Sherman interviewed by Hattenstone, “Cindy Sherman: Me, myself and I.” 15 Nochlin, interview by Pachmanová, “Linda Nochlin,” 18. 16 Cindy Sherman, interviewed by Mark Stevens, “How I Made It: Cindy Sherman on Her ‘Untitled Film Stills.’” 9

Cindy Sherman

Untitled, 2010 Pigment print on PhotoTex adhesive fabric Dimensions variable (MP# 498) Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures


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Cindy Sherman

Untitled Film Still, 1978 Black and white photograph 10 x 8 inches Edition of 10 (MP# 7) Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures

Cindy Sherman

Untitled, 1990-91 color photograph 20 x 16 inches Edition of 125 (MP# MPi-) Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures

Cindy Sherman

Untitled, 1989 color photograph 87 1/8 x 56 1/8 inches (framed) 94 x 63 inches Edition of 6 (MP# 216) Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures

Cindy Sherman

Mpi, 2008 Color photograph 64.5 x 58 inches (image) 163.8 x 147.3 cm 70 x 63.5 inches (frame) 177.8 x 161.3 cm (MP# 465) Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures

Cindy Sherman

Untitled, 1992 color photograph (image) 50 x 75 inches Edition of 6 (MP# 264) Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures

Cindy Sherman

Untitled, 1993 color photograph (framed) 80 1/2 x 61 inches Edition of 6 (MP# 276) Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures

Cindy Sherman

Untitled, 1994 color photograph (image) 69 15/16 x 45 1/4 inches Edition of 6 (MP# 296) Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures

Andrew Stanford Title: Idols: Ganesh Contact:

Andrew Stanford Title: Idols: Buddha Contact:

Andrew Stanford Title: Idols: Sheva Contact:

Andrew Stanford Title: Idols: God Contact:

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Anna Aseeva Untitled Contact:   No.

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Spencer Dempsey Jones Spencer Dempsey Jones Untitled

Untitled Contact: Untitled Contact: Contact:

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Claire Marie Cosmos and David Shults Title: Four Eyes Contact: and 28  Musée

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Claire Marie Cosmos and David Shults Title: Four Eyes Contact: and   No.

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Claire Marie Cosmos and David Shults Title: Four Eyes Contact: and 30  Musée

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Denise Diggs Untitled Contact:   No.

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JOEL GREY Joel Grey was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Pictures I Had To Take, his first monograph, published by Powerhouse Books in 2003, collected work created over a 30-year period. His second book, Looking Hard at Unexamined Things, published by Steidl in 2006, featured all new work, highlighting industrial sites, abandoned buildings, graffiti, wall art, detritus and public works from Los Angeles and New York to Berlin and Venice. For his third book, 1.3: Images from My Phone, Grey spent over a year shooting with the camera function of his Nokia phone and the result is a collection of photographs cut from diverse visual worlds: street art and still life, advertising and architecture, shadows and reflections, natural beauty and urban grit. Grey’s work has been the subject of solo shows in New York, Los Angeles and Berlin. His photographs are part of the permanent collection of The Whitney Museum of American Art and the New York Public Library. His life and career were recently the subject of an exhibition at The Museum of the City of New York, titled Joel Grey/A New York Life. Grey is also an award-winning actor in his spare time, best known for his Oscar, Tony, Golden Globe and BAFTA Award-winning performance in Cabaret.

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Prague, C-print.

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Would you say your career in photography began serendipitously? Completely! I took pictures as a kid, as a dad, and then as an actor who traveled, made movies, and saw places. Watching my children grow began the impulse to record what I saw. It’s all really serendipitous. I don’t simply tell myself, “I’m going out shooting today”. If Sam Shahid hadn’t perused your photos that were hidden in a shoebox, do you feel that you would’ve pursued photography seriously or published a book? Unlikely. You said working with the camera phone has intensified your vision, how so? The camera phone is just convenient for when I see something that interests me, I don’t understand, or that I’m trying to make sense of. Of course with the 1.3, because of its quirkiness and its limitations, the results would often be very surprising. There’s no control, so there were shots that were just, “oh my god, look at that!” Are you a patient person? Somewhat – I am combustible too.

The Cape of My Dreams, iPhone photo.

Which photographer do you most admire or relate to? Irving Penn, Manual Alvarez, William Eggleston, and Evans. Walker Evans’ Polaroid’s were an inspiration. So you’re using digital, what differences do you see in your images between the two technologies? I kind of know what to expect with my iPhone, whereas the other was always like a birthday surprise. How important is collaboration to you? Oh, everything. That’s what happens with Sam. Is he helping you with this project as well as the new book? Oh yeah. I was walking around one day and just took some pictures. I think I had injured my foot, I wasn’t in the show, and I obviously needed something creative to do. I shot a billboard and sent him about six images with no plan. He said “that’s your next book.” What is in the pinnacle of your photographic career thus far? Everything; just the fun of it and the seeming growth of people’s perception of me other than an actor. People don’t

Pico Boulevard, Camera phone photo.


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Remains of the Day, C-print.

“I’m very influenced by what I see and by art. It’s just alwa really like when you do more than one thing. Why do you think that is? I suspect its envy. Some people can’t do one thing, so why can you do two? Or three? It has nothing to do with a plan; it’s just about what comes out of your creative insanity. How do you think the sensibility of being an actor has helped you in photography? I think that I’ve always been a visual person. When I create

a character, I’m aware of the visual, I’m very influenced by what I see and by art. It’s just always been a very important part of my life. It’s in my DNA. What advice would you give to an emerging photographer? Oh, I wouldn’t. I don’t go by any books. I could give advice about acting.

ays been a very important part of my life. It’s in my DNA.” —Joel Grey

What advice would you give about acting? Tell the truth on the stage.

What painters do you admire? So many! One of my favorite artists is Richard Tuttle. I also like Cy Twombly and Jim Dine. You have amazing access to people and events. Have you ever considered doing behind-the-scenes photographs?

Never. It’s not my expertise. That kind of story-telling doesn’t interest me. My own story-telling is much more abstract. Have you had any mentors? Duane Michals. He’s amazing. He’s the greatest speaker without a piece of paper. You say you like dark things and beautiful things. Can you give me an example? I think that Arbus and Bacon are as dark as I go.

Little West 12th, Camera phone photo.

Cobblestone Crossing, Camera phone photo.

You say that you view photographs as little versions of plays, how so?

Can you name some of the photographers that you collect?

I see things like a proscenium. I almost never crop. My printer has often said that I’m the only photographer he knows that only takes one frame. I see what it is, and that’s it! I don’t second-guess myself.

Duane Michaels, Manual Alvarez, Laura Gilpin, Aaron Siskind.

When I first read that you see photographs as little plays, it was interesting to me because your pictures have nothing to do with narratives. They have to do with what you first see when the curtain goes up, or the last thing you see.

Did Aaron influence you? Yes. Sally Mann is a wonderful photographer as well. A friend of mine was doing a book on flowers and Sam was their director. They liked my photographs and suggested that I be included. I had a dream when I was little that I was in a forest and instead of tree’s there were lilies of the valley everywhere. So I took a picture of myself at that age, put it inside of a real thing of fresh lilies in the valley, and that is what I used in the book.

Horatio Street, Camera phone photo.

What is your next book going to be called? The Billboard Papers. Why do you think you are enjoying life more now than before? As you see things with fresh eyes, what do you think the reason is? I trust myself more, I don’t second guess.

Is there any habit that you have that you would like to break? Eating, eating whenever I want to eat, whatever I want to eat. I love food, almost more than photography! ■

Interview by Andrea Blanch Photograph of Joel Grey by Andrea Blanch

Do you accept everything about yourself? Who does? (Laughs) I’m pretty good on that subject, but I don’t think there is any finite place to get to.

All other photographs Courtesy of the Artist

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Self Portrait, Camera phone photo.

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Westside Highway, Camera phone photo.


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Hartford Heart, C-print.

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Christine Briana Title: Denver Skate Park Contact:

Christine Briana Title: Stopped On The Tracks Contact:

Peter Brian Schafer Title: Yesenia Contact:

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Digitalfel and Jaruni Title: Asleep in a Cabin Contact:

Digitalfel and Jaruni Title: Portrait of a Confused Girl Contact:

Eloise Garcia Untitled Contact:   No.

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Eloise Garcia Untitled Contact:   No.

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MATTHEW BRANDT Matthew Brandt, born in California in 1982, received his BFA from Cooper Union and his MFA from UCLA. In December 2011, Forbes named Matthew Brandt one of tomorrow’s “Brightest Stars” in the article 30 under 30: Art & Design. Brandt has been exhibited both independently and collaboratively throughout his career. His work is included in the collections of the Armand Hammer Museum, Cincinnati Art Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Currently, Brandt’s exhibit Lakes, Trees and Honeybees is on display at Yossi Milo Gallery in New York until July 20, 2012. The photography of the American West landscapes serves as an inspiration for Brandt, as well as traditional techniques and processes of the mid-nineteenth century including handmade papermaking and gumbichromate. Brandt creates his prints using physical elements from the subject itself, such as dipping photographs of a lake into its water. Currently, he lives and works in Los Angeles.

You went to Copper Union in New York for undergrad and then to UCLA for grad school, how do you think the educational philosophies differ from the East coast to the West? Aside from one being undergraduate and the other graduate. How did it affect your work? One of the main reasons I went to Cooper is they let you choose whatever you want to do. Also they had great professors. I become even more appreciative with the more I learn. New York in general is more frugal. With your ideas and material size, you end up thinking a lot more about what you are making. When I went to UCLA, they really prided themselves on being messy and free – who cares, just do it. It’s very experimental. It was those parameters that really helped me out. After I left Cooper I was making tight, cookie-cutter, conceptual work. For example, I would photograph an object and then repeat it with conceptual tools. I was interested in the “dry” look of photography to replicate other photography. UCLA was the first time that I actually had a darkroom and could really play around – to just do it. However, I still had the mindset that I had gotten from Cooper in New York and the conceptual interests. As in the responsibility to not really add heaps of images, but

to make something and think about why you’re making the image. All the while: being messy and experimental.

Did you pick a graduate school because you already had an idea of what you wanted to do? Was it the professors there that you wanted to learn from? How much did that influence you? I chose UCLA because of the professors and the location too. I was a little homesick. It’s funny the professors that I wanted to learn from, like Chris Burden and John Baldessari had already left (laughs) but I studied with so many other great artists that really influenced me like Jim Welling and Cathy Opie. Jim is one of my biggest influences that you can see in my work. I kept thinking, “Wow, am I really ripping Jim off?”

Musée Magazine Does that bother you if people compare you to Vik Muniz? No, that just means I have to separate myself in a certain way. I am a huge fan of his work. I’m still trying to work things out. I got an idea of wanting to create the world’s smallest photograph, so I looked at the Guinness World Records, and he has printed images on rice or something like that. He’s a genius! He has done so many fantastic things, so I had to look at his work and evolve from it, or do something else. I’ve gotten that comparison before. Why did you decide to use Ebay for the houses? I wanted to make something about the housing market. This idea is changing a little bit, the traditional house and the representation of what a house means. I wanted to show it in a more dislodged way by photographing houses that were for sale. The idea of “changing hands” too, one person lives there and someone else is living there. There are a lot of ideas wrapped up in a house for sale. When looked at through Ebay, you know that the houses are for sale, and there is a certain level of desperation of wanting to get rid of it. The solid structure in a transient space is what interests me. Also that it is shown as a bubble gum, although I don’t want this to be in direct transition to the housing market bubble, but it represents the malleability of the symbol of a house. So why did you decide to represent it with silk-screen? Two reasons: it was the only way to get bubble gum on paper, and to translate a picture. I wouldn’t want to hand render it because I love the photographic index. The image quality is bad from the listing on Ebay because usually I either do click-and-drags or screen-grabs. It’s just a matter of working with that, and translating the lack of quality. Sometimes when the image isn’t so good, you translate it to silkscreen, it ends up being a different quality. Sometimes the Jpeg squares are engrained differently with bigger chunks in certain areas; it gets kind of muddled anyway. I like the double take: when it’s one picture from 30-feet 58  Musée

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away and different when you’re face to face with the work.

How about one word that describes your work? Labor.

Do you think you will continue to do more camera-less photography? Do you enjoy that form of intellectual exercise? What is it like for you? I love when I don’t have to take the picture (laughs). There are so many good photos out there. Every time I look at the New York Times, I think to myself “wow, that picture is amazing!” I could never do that. Even with Instagram’s simple Photoshop filters, I think that the photographs look really great. I feel like technology makes it easy to take a “good” picture, and since there are so many good pictures out there, why not utilize it? It’s not about my subjectivity in taking pictures anymore; it’s about working with the pictures too.

What advice do you have for emerging photographers? Work hard and follow your instincts – hone in on what those instincts are. Maybe even investigate why those instincts exist. Everyone has their own subjectivity and it’s a matter of honing in on that: figuring out why that is, because that is essentially who you are. It takes a lot of work to fully understand that. The journey of finding that out is interesting.

ʻI get the biggest, mesh, silk-screen and shove the bubble gum through while heating it up.Itʼs a complicated process. ʼ —Matthew Brandt

Image appropriation is sort of a way to talk about image making. Have your gallerists thought that your images should be priced like a painting? Each one is unique; you can’t really duplicate the same image. I think that they do think of it that way. All of the work is pretty unique and I would like to keep it that way. So how do you use bubble gum in your processes? I get the biggest, mesh, silk-screen and shove the bubble gum through while heating it up. It’s a complicated process. These are one of kind as well because once you shove it through the screen, it’s ruined. What is the one word that describes you? Vessel? I guess?

How important is graduate school to all of that? For me it was very helpful. As an artist it is nice to have the time to focus, work, and figure out what you want to do. It’s great for networking advantages too. You meet professors that are going to help you, you find people that you can relate to, and you create a community. I think it’s nice to balance ideas off of other people and embrace what others have to say in order to get an idea for when you present work. I think it’s good, and important. Who has helped you most in your career? My dad. He was an advertising photographer. I sort of just grew up into photography. I grew up around photo shoots and knew what F-stop was. Even now, my dad is very encouraging. He had a studio space, which I took over, after I got out of grad school.

From the series, Taste Tests in Color, Frosting 2, 2012, Silkscreen on paper, with frosting, Unique, © Matthew Brandt, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York.


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From the series, Taste Tests in Color, Gummy Bears 3, 2012, Silkscreen on paper, with frosting, Unique, © Matthew Brandt, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York.

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How much Photoshop do you use in your work? I use Photoshop a lot. With the houses, I have to straighten the images to make it look like a proper architectural composition because it’s usually crooked on the side. I tweak a lot of stuff in Photoshop and play around with a lot of things. That is how I made a living after graduating UCLA. Working with Robert Polidori too, I learned a lot of tricks. You said: “There is something in the air to rekindle the notion of the photograph as a unique object, would you say this is the extended future of photography? Not necessarily, I think that there are so many avenues. That’s what is great about photography; it’s going in so many directions and has so many uses. At least with the relation to the art world, it is helpful to bring back painting traditions, and the idea of someone wanting something special or unique within the world to own.

Interview by Andrea Blanch Photograph of Matthew Brandt by Andrea Blanch All other photographs Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery and M+B Gallery Brandt’s solo exhibits include Chocolate, bees, dust, sperm, and sprinkles at Cardwell Jimmerson Gallery and Two Ships Passing at M+B Gallery. He has appeared in many more group exhibitions, such as Capitalism In Question (Because It Is) at Pitzer Art Galleries, Some Young LA Artists at Cardwell Jimmerson Gallery, and Of Memory and Time at Hendershot Gallery.

Do you always shoot with an 8x10 camera or do you shoot with other formats also? Now I actually shoot mostly with my digital camera. I’m using a Canon 5D Mark II. I do a lot of Photoshop stitching if I want a larger picture because I find it to be much easier and I get a much better quality by doing that. You have to end up going through the digital pass anyway so it’s just easier to make it altogether. Do you do your own printing? The images shown at the Yossi Milo Gallery, which were 30”x 40”, I had printed in a lab in Burbank, California. Any other size I print at UCLA on color paper, just analog prints. Are there any collections that you are dying to be in? Oh yea, MoMA. Are aesthetics more important than content? Content definitely comes first. The aesthetics are a way to grab someone’s attention and make them look a bit further into the work. In the end, it’s like “yeah this is pretty”, but then you ask yourself why it’s pretty. What’s one word that describes you? Curious. ■


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From the series, Taste Tests in Color, Laffy Taffy 1, 2012, Silkscreen on paper, with frosting, Unique, © Matthew Brandt, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York.

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From the series, Taste Tests in Color, Cake Icing 1, 2012, Silkscreen on paper, with frosting, Unique, © Matthew Brandt, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York.


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From the series, Houses, 110756276740, 2011, Orbit Spearmint on paper, Unique, © Matthew Brandt, Courtesy M+B Gallery, Los Angeles.

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From the series, Houses, 160692138060, 2011, Winterfresh on paper, Unique, © Matthew Brandt, Courtesy M+B Gallery, Los Angeles.

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By: Thomas Lin

We congregated in the hayloft Of the lichen-plastered barn A pocket of privacy, it creaked And sighed on Sunday afternoons A propitious start in black and white We fluttered, but never flew Stayed in the farmhouse by the pond Cobbled wee wagons with two by fours The fledglings took off, landed Unlanded, came back for more Until one day they left Leaving us What had to be said Was, without a fuss What should have been Couldn’t, until today Painting, scraping, another coat Winter knocked once in May The barn collapsed Apologies. I made a promise I could not keep.


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Exclusively photographed iPhone images for Musee No.3 shot with Schneider Optics new iPro Lens. Vik Muniz was born in São Paulo, Brazil in 1961, and splits his time between Brooklyn, New York and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His images range from photographs to installations, and he is most known for using a myriad of materials to create them, such as chocolate, toys, and garbage. Muniz’s artwork often draws inspiration from other artists, which he then replicates into new forms. He was featured in the Academy Award nominated documentary film Waste Land, which follows his work over the course of two years in relation to garbage pickers at a garbage dump near Rio de Janeiro. Muniz shot an exclusive new iPhone images with the Schneider Optics iPro Lens for Musée’s Breaking Tradition issue.

Is there any project that you have done, that you would like to redo? As I get older, I think “if I could redo everything I probably would”. That way I can learn certain things about a technique or a process, and apply it to the next piece until it’s saturated. On the work that you get to experiment with, you’re making constant, gradual, incremental improvements. As you grow a little more patient, you start to realize that the original ones look really fascinating because they are the beginning of the research. Though they are not perfect, they have freshness within them, while sometimes the repetition and the process impregnate the work. The moment when I start to become really good at something is when I start to abandon it. I wish I could go 20 years back and see again how I started.

Do you have a favorite work? It’s very subjective and very personal. You take a different type of pleasure for different types of processes. For example, pigment – you don’t see it. It has to go through an enormous amount of time and effort to get something that sort of becomes embedded, almost invisibly, within the work. Sometimes you do something that isn’t very rewarding, but at the end, you see the result and you are really happy. Sometimes things are just pleasurable. Normally there is a balance between these two situations, which is the best when you get something that was on the border of what was possible.

Now I am doing visual rubbish. It’s a reduction in terms of scale and material, but conceptually it’s similar. The two actually build up where every single input that we have is so polluted with references. It’s impossible to recreate the concept just with the references. It’s fun to do it and it’s hard as well, but when you finish, you have a feeling of accomplishment.

Do you have a preference for whether people call you an artist or a photographer? Normally I say that I am a photographer when I’m going through passport control. They assume that you have a technical profession. They don’t ask questions, or don’t think that you are a cross dresser, or a cabaret dancer, or anything like that. If the police ask you, and you say that you are an artist, they start to be very sarcastic about it.

Do you differentiate between the two? No, it’s totally beyond the point to think that these two make a stigma of art in photography because we never really had so many people that have worked on it since the 19th century. I don’t really differentiate between commercial art and fine art. I think that this is all an official market strategy just to create value in a different way.

Which ones are like this, the Earth Works?

Roberta Smith had said that you “have the impunity to straddle the commercial world with the fine art”. How do you feel about that?

No, it’s more like the stuff that I am doing right now; I am ripping up pieces of magazine and putting them together. After having done the Garbage pictures, which became an intoxicated visual environment, it turned into the same thing physically with the material of rubbish.

The moment that you start talking about art, pre-conceived notions of things like hierarchies or structures that really get in the way are immediately derived. I care about the history of iconography in general – this goes for commercial art as well. We make objects for

the art world that obviously have specific qualities attached to them, such as: materiality, physicality, value and scale which encourage people to preserve them or to live with them. My first job was designing and placing billboards. When you deal with that, there is a certain angle of approach. You’re dealing with the same dynamics that people are subjected to when they are going to look at pictures in a museum. The idea of proxemics, for example, considers whether you attend a show with a lot of people, if you’re able to walk back and forth, or the distance and relationship between the size of the works and the room which they are in. This all fascinates me because my artwork is made to be put on a wall and it takes full advantage of the process of approximation, which I’ve learned commercially. I get the whole “real artists don’t work on commission” thing, sure. Except artists like Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Tisch all did. I mean it’s a job, sometimes you have to do what you’re told.

How does that affect your work? Does that effect any decisions about what you are going to do, your next series, or the size of your work? My models are still based on a 70’s formula: when there was a shortage of money, the artists felt that they had to spread the knowledge about what they were doing, and they resorted to multiples. Before the 70’s, there was no vintage work, people didn’t put editions numbers or anything. The idea was to spread the work as much as possible and try to create a controlled spread of editions. You want the market to be able to absorb your work. It’s a delicate relationship between price and the ability to be able to market well. I’m a bit of a populist I think. Sometimes I get into other activities like magazine making, editing, curating, or writing because it’s also a way for you to branch out away from the studio – it’s also very refreshing.

Do you care more about the aesthetics of your work or communicating something about your work? These things have certain reciprocity of concept between communications. You can be an artist in the world but if you don’t show your work to anybody, then nobody will know who you are. You have to be able to communicate what you do, but you have to be good to begin with. I’m not interested in producing masterpieces; I’m interested in working in series. I really see the works as a cinematic progression of frames. I don’t believe in the revolutionary aspects of art, but the evolutionary aspects of it. It grows gradually as you pay more attention. Normally every artist does this, they find a groove and they realize that it’s sort of like a language they found.

Roberta Smith also said that your work has an optical richness and a physical texture. This is what they call “haptic”. It’s not physical, but it generates the sensation of tact – a tactile experience. You can engage someone optically, or in other senses like smell, taste, or touch. My work has ambition because photography has the ability to do that, especially when you work with certain technical competence. My photography is very simple; I aim for the highest resolution and sharpness. Compositionally, it’s also something that I try to do as simple as possible. You’re extremely resourceful. I would imagine that comes from your background, or was this something that was also thought out? I like to work a lot. I come from a very poor family in Brazil and I am the only child. I have to take care of my parents, and I have four kids, so I am always running around. My son, who is in advertising, was saying to me recently, “Do you think you need to be somewhat tortured to be able to produce art?” and I said “Yes”. He asked, “How do you do it? You live so well.” I said I live in fear of not having these things anymore because I am also very materialistic, yet I am fearful of not being able to provide for my family or being able to take care of my parents. When I met my wife we had been together for two months when she told me that she was pregnant. I used to work as a framer and I was just starting my career as an artist. I was never going to able to support my son with a framers job on seven dollars an hour, so the art thing was going to have to really do it. I love what I do. Being as resourceful as I was growing up, I never thought that people would pay me to have ideas. I like the idea that I could go to a museum like the Art Institute of Chicago and look at this art and ask “can you take this off of the wall for me? I would like to take a picture of it.” And they say “okay”. I would have never thought this would be possible.

In your 2003 TED presentation you spoke about what creation vs. creativity is. Can you explain what you meant by that? Creation is something that represents a graspable portion of what we can observe, but cannot understand. Creativity is how we cope with creation; it’s how we invent languages, motifs, and patterns to actually help us navigate in an otherwise really complex structure of events and situations. All we do is try to cope, ultimately. Creating opened ended structures, and ways in which you can approach or think about reality, is the ultimate role of the artist. You have to be very dedicated to the concept of Realism. Realism is the negotiating between what you know, what you are able to grasp, and what is actually there. You think about realism in the terms of Gustav Courbet, who was using this term in a post-photographic context. Can you actually call a painting a realistic painting, even after photography was invented? That’s the kind of realism that I’m speaking of. I still see my work very similar to an easel painting like that of Poussin or Gould. A 21st century landscape is riddled

with signs, and is no longer pure. Each visual input comes completely loaded with references and cross-references. You can Google something and it’s there. It creates this immediacy of time; we are living in a world of holographic complexity. If you are an artist, you have to assert that kind of complexity to what you are doing. My sources are more primitive, they are visual puns, optical illusions, and commercial art.

Who helped you most in your career? The people who were brave enough to say that this was good. There was a Swiss sculptor named Not Vital. He came to my studio and bought a few pieces. He asked me to price it, which I had no idea how to do. He introduced me to a few curators in the city at the beginning of the 80’s.The scene was different then, my neighborhood had tiny galleries that start sprouting up everywhere. There is a point in your life you start sensing the post of your generation coming up. It’s an active element of society; you see people your age making big decisions or becoming politicians and key business figures. When I started going out into the galleries and seeing works of Cindy Sherman or Jeff Koons at the time, nobody had to explain to me what Cindy Sherman was doing – I just knew it. When I saw Koons’ work, I realized that I could use a lot of what I do to make art. I was born in Brazil and most of my work comes from the iconography of my lifetime. In the 60’s and 70’s when I was most absorbed in things like pop, two key

figures were Warhol and Beuys. I think about minimalism and post-minimalism. I like photo-realism. Other than that, I look at the political paintings a lot. I’d make trips to Mali and look at primitive art. One thing you should have as an artist is a lot of courage, in order to put your ideas out and not be ashamed of them. You shouldn’t have any prejudice, especially visual prejudiced.

You are very open to the idea of shooting with the iPhone. How did you feel when I asked you if you would do it? It’s an interesting proposition. I used to teach a class at Parsons and I had a window that would look down 5th ave. I used to ask my class, “What do you see down there?” and they would say “Taxis”. I would reply “There are 15,000 cabs in New York City, and there are 18,000 photographers – most of them are cab drivers”. Anyone can take a picture, but what makes one picture better than the other? It’s fascinating that everyone is sort of a critic and an editor. I went to this lecture at AIPAD during the exhibit, and the panel was Chris Phillips from ICP, Sarah Meister from MOMA, and Joshua Chuang from Yale. Someone in the audience said “what do you see with the trends now?” Chris said it was the iPhone, because everyone has one now. I’m agreeing with what you

are saying, that we are going to see what’s good and what’s bad.

What advice would you give a photographer who is just starting out?

The fact that everyone basically has an iPhone makes everyone aware of the limitations of the iPhone. When I started working in September at MIT, the arrays of digital SLR’s allow you to make instantaneous stitching, and you can bend the plane of the cameras so that you can achieve different focal structures.

I always say that when you look back after 20 years of making work, it feels like what you are doing now has a straight line. From the first drawing that you made as a kid, everything becomes meaningful. It can be very flexible though, which is the disclaimer in this. The complete possibility of curves, lines, and detours were infinite because I had the whole world in front of me. First of all you need to be good to yourself. You can do anything you want, but be mindful that you are going to be narrowing possibilities, and the paths that you take will allow you to go far. Sometimes the first thing that usually comes to your mind is what gives you pleasure in doing it. I see young photographers and young artists conform to certain entry points of the marketplace that is pretty much the same. Self-portraiture for instance is something that you see too much of. Also, it runs with the idea that if you’re an African American artist, you’re only going to do art about African Americans – this is totally preposterous. You could do Eskimo art and be South African; it doesn’t matter. You have to see what’s useful for yourself. There is a significant difference between making art and being an artist.

So basically like a Lensbaby? Exactly. You can put together about 9 or 16 cameras, make pictures of a resolution that is extremely insane, and you can only do it that way. Although the practice of the popularization of the iPhone camera also gives people an understanding of photography that they didn’t have before. They know now that this picture is awesome because it was taken in such a specific way that makes it so special – they know that it couldn’t have been taken with an iPhone. I think generating digital technology was sort of the ghost of painting that came back to haunt photography with a terminology that was known as a “hue tone”. In Photoshop, it’s all of the stuff that painters used to talk about at the turn of the century. The ability for people to make pictures and to work on their own pictures also increases their ability to see the world. Things that are particular to photography will become more present with the popularization of the medium through the cell phone. These “smart phones” can pinpoint the location, recognize faces, and they can create all different types of visual interface that not even I can envision in my wildest dreams. The fact that you can stitch every single picture taken in the world, if they are pinpointed location and uploaded into a server, you can actually have the whole world shown to you in photographs. On one end it’s an amazing thing, but on the other is the total idea of transparency that creates a sort of blindness. The idea of connection gives a false feeling of knowledge and placement of security.

You said that “A Child’s Head” by Peter Paul Ruben inspired you to be an artist. What about it inspired you to be an artist? I was into commercial art and I was thinking that I would probably do something with television or theater; art that is able to communicate to a wider audience, simultaneously. I went to a show at the MET which was called the “Prince Collection of Liechtenstein” in the early 80’s. I remember going through these Rubens paintings that were intended for a very larger social area, like a palace. I kept thinking “this is why I’m not a painter”. In another room there was a line of people. When you come to a painting, you stop at a certain moment where the border of the painting fills your visual field. Normally there is always a place where you stop to look at a painting, and in this case there was a line. Everybody stopped at the same place and looked at a portrait of his

daughter. When you paint somebody that you know well, you tend to go over certain imperfections like the symmetries and so on. He was such a great artist, he painted her without the symmetrical discrepancies that every face has. For some reason, the painting comes alive because of that. It looks like she is bursting at the painting and it is so beautiful, but you can only see it from one point. At that point I realized that this is something I wanted to work with: the approach of an image that changes when you come closer to it.

What rules didn’t you follow about making it in the art world? Being a hypocrite, creating a sense of exclusivity, or having a superior knowledge. Thinking that your ideas are beyond the intelligence of the public is something that I never really believed in. The intelligence of art should be intelligent in its accessibility. There is a lot of art that is based on exclusivity, and this is something I don’t subscribe too. Good art is good for everybody. ■

Interview by Andrea Blanch

Photograph of Vik Muniz by Andrea Blanch All other photographs Courtesy of the Artist A major retrospective is currently on view at the museum Collection Lambert in Avignon, France. In December 2008 Muniz was the guest artist at the Museum of Modern Art exhibition series Artist’s Choice: Vik Muniz-Rebus. Other international solo exhibitions in recent years are: Vik Muniz at the House of Photography, The Beautiful Earth at Paço das Artes e Galeria Fortes Vilaça in São Paulo; Pictures of People at the

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in the UK; Muniz at the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporânea in Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Vik Muniz at Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro and Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo. In the US major solo exhibitions include: The Things Themselves: Pictures of Dirt at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; Vik Muniz at The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery in New York; Clayton Days at The Frick Art & Historical Center in Pittsburgh and Seeing is Believing at the International Center of Photography in New York.

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Pierre Cordier Pierre Cordier was born on January 28, 1933 in Brussels, Belgium. A former lecturer at the École Nationale des Arts Visuels in Brussels, he is also known as the inventor or the father of the groundbreaking chemigram technique, which combines the processes of painting, photography and science without even using a camera. Cordier continues to live and work in Belgium today.

How long have you been an artist and how did you first start creating ? My first chemigram dates from 1956 - 56 years ago! Before that I was an amateur photographer. As a child I loved being handy. I repaired the shutter of an old Kodak box camera with one of my mother’s garters. I’ve always been drawn to experiments, to inventions. An artist who’s content with repeating what already exists has little interest for me.

Who, what and where inspired the beginning of the chemigram technique ? During military service in Germany in 1956 I wrote out a dedication to a young German girl, Erika, writing with nail polish on light sensitive paper. So from the start there was writing, painting, and photography. I was already interested in painting (Max Ernst, Paul Klee, Gustav Klimt, Saul Steinberg) and in photography (Fox Talbot, Hippolyte Bayard, Man Ray, Moholy-Nagy).

Can you briefly describe the process behind the technique ? Nowadays, you have to explain that before we had digital, photos were based on silver. The surfaces were light sensitive thanks to the silver salts they contained. You developed the image with developer and you fixed it with fixer. Chemigrams use these same products but without a camera. To get shapes you turn to things you can find in the kitchen, the bathroom, or the hardware store, and these are what we call resists. They can be soft (honey, syrup, oil) or hard (varnish, wax, adhesive). You set them onto the light sensitive surface with brushes, rollers or sprayers. By soaking the paper alternately in developer (to get the blacks) and fixer (to get the whites), there gradually appearimages impossible to obtain with painting, photography, or the computer.

Musée Magazine What inspired the name, chemigram, and were there other name options you had in mind early on ? The chemigram combines the physics of painting (varnish, wax, oil) with the chemistry of photography (light sensitive emulsion, developer, fixer), without use of camera, enlarger, and in broad daylight. I chose the word “chemigram” because I wasn’t using a camera. Yet since the physical phenomena were so important I might have said “physicochemigram”. But the more economical “chemigram” is in universal use today.

What was the initial public and personal reaction to the chemigram public ? I often say there are 7 billion people in the world who are ignorant of chemigrams. Georges Brassens said that it’s harder to please certain people than it is to please everyone. These certain people have been Otto Steinert in Germany, John Szarkowski, at the time director of photography at MoMA, Brassaï, Lartigue, Aaron Siskind (my “spiritual father”)…

Chemigram 14/3/12 det. C1 excerpt “Chemigram Family in the Sky”

Musée Magazine Was it tough trying to introduce the chemigram technique to the mass public ? At the time, it was hard to gain acceptance for hybrid works. Painters took me for a photographer and the photographers for a painter. Besides, I’ve never tried to introduce a technique as peculiar as this one to the larger public. Even photograms, which were practiced in the twenties by great artists like Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy, never received much public acceptance, and have been mainly relegated to art schools. Chemigrams have become better known through the lectures and workshops that I’ve conducted since 1979 and, more recently, by artists like Douglas Collins in his blog which I recommend to you,

Interview by Marsin Mogielski Photograph of Pierre Cordier by Pierre Radisic All other photographs Courtesy of the Artist Cordier has exhibited his work internationally, including at MoMA in New York in 1967, the Musée d’Art Moderne in Brussels in 1988, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in 2010, and the Armory Show & AIPAD in New York in 2011. His retrospective exhibition in 2007 called Cinquante ans du chimigramme at the Musée de la Photographie Charleroi in Belgium highlighted his work with chemigram over the past fifty years.

Having mastered the chemigram technique, what else have you mastered in your life time? Georges Brassens had a pivotal role in my choice of becoming an artist; Brassens is to the francophone world what Bob Dylan is to Americans. I’ve become one of his intimate biographers through photos and recordings I made of him before he became celebrated. What are you currently working on? After a long stay in the south of France while I worked on a monograph collecting all my notes on chemigrams entitled “le chimigramme / the chemigram”, I returned to Brussels. In March 2011 I was encouraged me to take up chemigrams again by an Austrian artist and painter I met, Gundi Falk. We’ve collaborated on a series called “Windows on the Unknown”. Nests of sturdy lines are windows opening onto a night where you can see stars, moons, suns, unknown beings. An opposition between order and disorder, between the controlled chemigram and the random chemigram.

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What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Music, especially jazz: Armstrong, Ellington, Parker, Monk. And classics: Debussy, Ravel, Satie, as well as contemporaries like Steve Reich. My reading runs from Nabokov, Borges, Georges Perec, to humorists like Groucho Marx. What advice do you have for emerging artists and chemigrammers? Take the time to find yourself and when you become yourself, keep on going. And for the chemigram, three bits of advice: practice, practice, practice. ■

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HANK WILLIS THOMAS Exclusively photographed iPhone images for Musee No. 3

Hank Willis Thomas received his BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and his MFA in Photography, along with an MA in Visual Criticism, from California College of the Arts in San Francisco. His work was published in his monograph Pitch Blackness (Aperture, 2008). His collaborative projects have been featured at the Sundance Film Festival and installed publicly at the Oakland International Airport and The Oakland Museum of California. He is currently a Spring 2012 Fellow with the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College Chicago and is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City. Thomas shot new iPhone images exclusively for Musée’s Breaking Tradition issue.

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Where did you go to school? I went to NYU for undergrad and got a BFA in Photography and Africana Studies. After, I went to CCA (California College of the Arts) in San Francisco and Oakland, where I received my MFA in Photography and an MA in Visual and Critical Studies. Coming from a creative family, did you feel any pressure while growing up to create? Not growing up, but when it came time to go to college. I would say they just kind of forced me. I didn’t really want to be an artist. I didn’t really want to go to art school, but I had already taken up an interest in photography, and it was my mother’s dream to go to NYU. We were living in D.C., so she kind of forced me into going there. Three years after I graduated, she got hired, and soon became chair of the department. What’s one word that would describe you? Eclectic. What’s one word that would describe your work? Earnest.

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What advice would you give for emerging artists or photographers? Do. Keep doing. Embrace failure; embrace rejection. Enjoy it because those are the most useful lessons that you could have as an artist. If you never fail or acknowledge that you have failed, you can never be good. No one steps on stage and is the best actor; you have to start somewhere. Recognize where you falter or where you have challenges, and be open to some sort of degree of criticism. At least until you are confident in your own voice, or once you’ve had a wide range of criticism from a variety of people who you respect and admire. You can take what you want and leave the things that you don’t think are helpful as you master what it is you’re trying to do. Do you think you’ve mastered what you’re trying to do? No, but I’ve gotten pretty good at it. Do you think you’ll continue this exploration? Until someone better picks it up! I don’t think I’m the best and I don’t think that I have everything to say, but there’s not enough people in fine art who are engaging with popular culture and advertising in a critical way.

How did you feel when using the iPhone for a project? Well, I got really into it. The images I gave you were all images that I took in the past six months, so it’s not my oeuvre. This shows what I could do with the camera, as well as what it means to take an image and share it with the world, theoretically, within seconds. When I started using Instagram, I began to really look at photographs because the social media site becomes an exhibiting venue to your “followers”. It’s like curating an exhibition of your life experiences. I wanted to look at what was happening in 2012 in terms of important moments and highlights. Aesthetically, did you find that there were any obstacles or challenges using it? I always feel a little cheap when I use digital media for making photographs because if I don’t like it, I can delete it immediately. There’s no consequence to it. The real challenge is trying to pay real attention to it or as I recall at least when there was no digital media. Now when I shoot film, I don’t care as much, because I know that I can take a better or faster picture easier with digital. When I look back at the time that I was shooting a lot of medium-format film with only twelve exposures, I realize that I was very, very cautious and careful about how I exposed the film and what I chose to take a photograph of. I wasn’t really going to take a photograph unless I was thinking about printing it. I never just took photographs for the heck of it, so when I shoot with my iPhone or even just point a digital camera, I’m blindly recording. I’ve probably taken more photographs in the past seven years than in my entire fifteen just because I can do it without accountability. You’re not really a reportage photographer? I tried but I wasn’t the best. I went to school with a number of really great photojournalists, as well as reportage, and documentary photographers. I would probably give myself a solid B! I’m sure that if I were more courageous and more invested, I could probably have improved. I recognized from the feedback that I was getting that it wasn’t really the direction that I wanted to go in anyway. However, I’ve always had great admiration and respect for people who photograph that way. Now we see so many images on a daily basis. I believe that there are more images taken in a single second than any of us know what to do with in our entire life and I’m not so confident that was true even thirty years ago. There are ten times more photographers now than when I got into photography. It calls for a little bit of an identity crisis; should I really try to be the best photographer or should I be looking at the images society creates and try to understand what they mean in the present moment? You could do that or wait for art history to look at the plethora of images created and understand what they might be saying about our values today.

“If I woke up white and was still myself I would probably make the same work.” —Hank Willis Thomas

What do you think is the difference between your personal art and your other art? I have never made a distinction. The one thing that has always made me uncomfortable is when friends who are editorial or commercial photographers have sections titled “personal work” or “personal projects” on their websites. It’s like saying “I know you really care about this, but this is what I care about”. Even though I understand the importance of separating it, it does make an omission that what you believe personally isn’t as valuable as a picture of John Cougar Mellencamp or something. The benefit of being an “artist” is that everything you do is personal. Forgive me, I don’t mean to offend you, but if you woke up white, what do you think your art would be like? If I woke up white, it would probably be the same. If I woke up white and was still myself, I would probably make the same work. One of my best friends is John Davidson. He’s Jewish and does this thing that cracks everyone up. He says, “I feel like a failure. I’m a poor Upper West Side Jew”. It’s partially because he’s creatively interested in conversations about race, ethnicity, gender, and other complex issues. I think it’s because he and I grew up listening to people like Eddie Murphy, centered on comedy, who influenced the way we look at the world. That’s my closest reference to someone who has a relationship to the world similar to mine because we’ve known each other for almost thirty years. I would say that some of my “white” peers don’t have the burden of having to deal with their identity so to speak. There are some white, male artists who make work about that. I’m actually curating a show next year called White Boys at Haverford College. I’m interested in making work about “whiteness” and “white maleness.” The discourse is different. A lot of the ideas that come out of my work have been influenced by my white peers and that’s heavily taken for granted. A lot of successful black artists have non-black partners, so you can’t suggest that it doesn’t influence the work they make. I really feel like race is a fabrication that we choose to believe and because we choose to believe it, we now look at the world in a way that is limiting to our perspectives. That’s why I do a lot of collaborative projects. There’s a website,, where you can see all of my collaborative work including a project that we did in Ireland last year. Do you think your work will always be in some way politically influenced? Until I master it, yes. In your opinion, how important is grad school? I think it’s really important, but only to those people who aren’t afraid of wasting their time. Part of being a successful artist is getting comfortable with wasting your time because you can never tell what’s going to be worth it and what’s not. If you’re in the process of growing, sometimes looking at a wall for two months is going to be more use-

Musée Magazine ful than someone coming in and talking to you. There is a process that you’re going through intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally that you have to submit to. It’s really hard to do when you don’t have the privilege of having people around whose job it is to care about what you do. When you graduate high school as an artist, no one cares about whether or not you’re going to make it. If you go to art school, people are paid to care about it. If you go to grad school, even more people are paid to care even more about it. It’s the investment in yourself that is really fruitful for a lot of people, but I don’t think it’s for everybody.

What inspired you to start experimenting with conceptual photography? In undergrad I did conceptual photography where I took photographs, but I was really trying to make a comment on the lie that is photography. We look at the photograph as a document, but it’s really a split-second in time and a two-dimensional space where basically only one of the senses is triggered. Even that is distorted because it’s a thirtieth of a second and it’s in a narrow frame.

So your advertising, branding, and un-branding – is that collage? The branded is all pictures I’ve taken, while the unbranded is all Photoshopped. What influences you in the art world now, or what artists influence your work? All. How did you get your first break? I didn’t… I guess I was just born. My first break was getting into college and then into grad school. My peers in grad school really helped me to get my first shows and one of my friends from grad school got me my first gallery. What would you say is the high point of your career up to now? I had the most fun at Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture. I’d like to say the high point is everyday, but it’s also the low point (laughs).

What haven’t you done that you would like to do? Save the planet. When is your next show? My next major show is at the Jack Shainman Gallery in October 2012.

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Would you ever consider curating one of Musée’s issues? Sure. ■

Interview by Andrea Blanch Photograph of Hank Willis Thomas by Andrea Blanch All other photographs Courtesy of the Artist Thomas’ work is in numerous public collections including The Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and Museum of Modern Art. His work has been exhibited prevalently in the United States as well as other parts of the world, including Trade Dress: Value Judgments at Diaspora Vibe Gallery in Miami, Black is Beautiful at Roberts and Tilton Gallery in Los Angeles, and All Things Being Equal… at Goodman Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. Thomas has also collaborated with other artists in group exhibitions such as Day Labor at P.S. 1 in New York City, The Black Alphabet at Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw, Poland, and Making History at Museum für Modern Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany.


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Rob Pruitt, born in Washington D.C. in 1964, works with a deep-rooted attachment to pop sensibility as well as a playful critique for art world structures. His conceptual projects have included performance-based artworks like his recent Art Awards, presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2009 and modeled after Hollywood awards ceremonies, as well as simple gestures that promote possibilities for creativity in everyday life, as demonstrated in the 2001 series 101 Art Ideas You Can Do Yourself. From his glittering paintings of panda bears and sculptural formations of blue jeans to his operative flea markets, Pruitt’s work is always characterized by an incisive humor and exuberant visual flair. In 2008, he was one of the first artists to show a collection of iPhone photos in his exhibit iPruitt at Gavin Brown’s enterprise. Pruitt graduated Tougaloo Art Colony in 1999, earned his BFA from Texas Southern University in 2000, attended Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, and received his MFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003. Pruitt currently lives and works in New York.

How and why did you conceive iPruitt? Well, the iPhone had just come out and had a very enticing multi-million dollar ad campaign. Previously, I just had a cheap Motorola Razor phone. I have to admit, I was very seduced by the litany of things that the iPhone could do beside just make calls. The camera feature was most exciting to me, because I felt as if I could use it as a journal. Where are the photos now, and are any for sale? Some of the photos were sold but a lot of them are in storage. How did you like working with the iPhone? The iPhone is incredibly easy to use. For me, anything that makes taking images as simple as possible is welcomed.

Would you consider using it again for another art project? Have you thought of other possibilities for its use? For sure. I have made iVideos all along but haven’t shown them. How was iPruitt received (the iPhone photos)? As far as I can tell, people loved iPruitt. However, I don’t really ever search the internet to see because some of the mean things that people can say get me pretty depressed. What is one word that describes your work? Well, I can’t really think of one word. Simply put, I would say that my work is in dialogue with daily culture, or the culture of the day.


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What is one word that describes you? My boyfriend Jonathan says that I’m a snoop. What’s your favorite word? I don’t really have a favorite word, but I do have a word that I hate: cutlet

What’s your favorite color and what response does it provoke from you?

Were there moments when you doubted yourself and your work? If so, how did you move forward?

I like pink.

I don’t ever doubt myself when I’m making things. After they are made, I sometimes have a feeling which must be similar to what a serial killer feels. I’ll look at it and think: “My god, what have I done? Should I hide it or just let it be discovered?”

Is there anything you’d like to change about your life? I’d like to get plastic surgery.

“I don’t ever doubt myself when I’m making things. After they are made, I sometimes have a feeling which must be similiar to what a serial killer feels. I’ll look at it and think: “My god, what have I done? Should I hide or just let it be discovered’” —Rob Pruitt

Do you see yourself ever collaborating again, making that sacrifice?

Is there any habit you’d like to break?

I love collaborating. The last thing I collaborated on was a project with Nate Lowman about New York City’s bed-bug infestation. We made paintings and sculptures.

Well, I suffer from depression which is not exactly a habit. And I know that exercise makes me feel less depressed, but it’s awfully hard for me to commit to an exercise regime.

You’re so prolific, how do you do it? I try to have a routine, it’s important to me to be in the studio as if it were a nine-to-five job. What does being an artist mean to you? Earning the privilege of having people look at what I’ve done. What is the most satisfying moment thus far in your career? I suppose it’s that I have the support of a large amount of dealers, collectors, and curators, which allows me to proceed.

What advice do you have for emerging artists? Do exactly what you want to do and do whatever it takes to get it seen.

Is there any project you’d like to re-visit and do over or add to? I always re-visit my old projects. Like a musician playing old songs, it’s been a pattern of mine. Is there a prevalent theme in your work and what is it? The predominant theme I’d say is that art is something that we all can do. Very often I think that what I present may not even be the best example, but serves as a suggestion to the viewer that their personal expressions can be meaningful and exciting too.

What haven’t you done yet that you would like to do? I’d like to make some art that didn’t require any extraneous support such as the internet or projected image – just my brain, eyes, hand, a paintbrush or pencil, or a lump of clay. Or maybe record a pop song, a love song. ■

Interview by Andrea Blanch Photograph of Rob Pruitt by Andrea Blanch Rob Pruitt series images are Copyright The Artist All other photographs Courtesy of the Artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise Pruitt has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including his shows Flea Market at Gavin Brown’s enterprise in New York, Paris in Tokyo at Gallery Side 2 in Tokyo, 101 Art Ideas You Can Do Yourself at Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, and Look What I’ve Done: Rob Pruitt Works 1989 – 2009 at Carlson Gallery in London. He has also participated in a variety of group exhibitions, again both nationally and internationally though with a prevalence in New York, including Fortyck at Galleri Metropol in Stockholm, Paintball at 303 Gallery in New York, Summer Group Show at China Art Objects Gallery in Los Angeles, and Grisaille at Luxembourg & Dayan in New York.


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Breaking Tradition Boater kinda tiring Tried obtaining ark I, boating errant kid Begin a kind art riot

Signed: Here, I dance (anagram of Diane Echer)

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Adam D. Weinberg has been the Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art since October 2003. From 1981, Mr. Weinberg was at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, where he served as Director of Education and Assistant Curator until 1989, when Weinberg initially joined the Whitney as Director of the Whitney at Equitable Center. Weinberg subsequently assumed the post of Artistic and Program Director of the American Center in Paris in 1991. He returned to the Whitney as Curator of the Permanent Collection in 1993 and was made Senior Curator in 1998. Previously, Weinberg was the Director of the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy, Andover, from 1999 to 2003.

What began your interest in art?

Did you ever pursue it?

I grew up going to museums with my family and that was initially how my interest started. In high school I studied photography, which led me to other areas such as art and the history of photography. After my freshman year of college I had a summer internship at Guggenheim New York. My first day on the job at the Guggenheim, I got there earlier than all of the other interns and a lot earlier than the director, when I walked into the rotunda, somehow it just hit me that moment and I thought, “I want to work in a museum.” I didn’t know how, I didn’t know why, but that was part of the moment.

No, I started taking photography fairly seriously. I studied with a photographer named Norman White but I found no interest in looking, marketing, and writing about pictures.

Did you ever do any art making yourself? Photography, I considered art making.

How did your concentration on photography benefit your career? I don’t really think about it benefitting my career. I began studying art through the history of photography at a time when it was just becoming popular in the 1970’s. I began to notice what contemporary art had to do with photography directly and indirectly, whether it’s printmaking or interdisciplinary work. So much of it connects to photography, so I guess it made me a bit more literate in terms of understanding contemporary art and what it has to do with cameras or image making in general.

Musée Magazine What does the term “Breaking Tradition” mean to you?

How important is photography to the Whitney?

The idea of the camera goes back to at least the 16th century. There’s a continuity of photographic vision with artists using the camera obscura. If you look at Vemeer, it was quite common during the Renaissance for artists to use a camera without any kind of image-making material. It could be argued that photographic imagery has its roots from five hundred years of image making. I guess the idea is that even as one is breaking tradition, they’re still utilizing tradition to continue to make traditions.

Photography is essential to the Whitney because it’s an essential and intrinsic medium for the 20th and 21st century. The way people are interested in photography has transformed because it now comes from our culture and has an intellectual base, affecting the way we look at the world.

Everyone is now a photographer because of the iPhone, what’s your opinion on that? Everybody loves pictures. With the means that people have now, everybody can do it. However, it doesn’t necessarily make someone an artist just because the means are there.

How do you think that’s going to affect the standard of photography? I think it’s a combination of quality and an idea that can manifest into a physical product. I’ve talked to a photographer Lewis Baltz in Paris about this and he believes most artists have developed their shortness in terms of their work without using photographs a number of years ago. He thought he had produced his best work already and felt that he had no need to continue instrumentally. The ability to send out something innovative is not “out of the loop”, but has a distinctive vision to it and can carry fuel for a creative time. Anybody can put a monkey in a computer and it will eventually make a sound. Anybody can take good pictures, but getting a picture or a series that gives a new twist to the language of what photography is, that’s the challenge. You can have a wonderful sense of color, but there has to be more to art than what can come from a form of instructions.

Given your background in photography, why was there not as much photography in the last Whitney Biennial? There were sixty-one artists in the show, and I would argue that at least five or six artists were using photography in one way or another. There was LaToya Ruby Frazier who does written photography, and Lutz Bache, a conceptual artist who appropriates images taken of a celestial sky. There was also a photographic presence in mixed media work, and Moyra Davey who had photographed prints that were then mixed with video. Another artist did two slideshows on two different series, which were essentially photo-based work. These photographers were only ten percent of the entire show, but each of them had a broader definition than what one usually thinks of traditional photography.

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Who was the last photography-based artist that the Whitney purchased? Working with our exhibition committee, we acquired two of the Biennial photographs including works by Moyra Davey. In recent years, we have also acquired a whole range of photographic works, such as a large group of Ralston Crawford that we will be showcasing in the fall. We’ve always integrated photography into our displays in the collection and into the Gilman gallery, which is primarily devoted to photography.

What upcoming plans are you most looking forward to implementing at the Whitney Museum downtown? I am looking forward to the fact that we will have three to four times more space than we currently have for showing the collections. The idea of being able to present a real range of what our collection has, not just in photography, is something I’m looking forward to. We have an incredible collection of hidden treasures that people don’t even know about at the Whitney. We are also going to have a more concentrated study center that will give access to all the works in the collection by appointment, which we never have had before. We will have two black-box theater spaces, with one in the cinema. One will be for performance, where we will use an indoor/outdoor black-box. We will also have about 2,000 square feet of empty gallery space which will have continuously changing instillations.

As your roles at the Whitney evolved, how did your responsibilities change? I worry more! [Laughs]

What draws you back to the Whitney every day? The challenge. The Whitney has a tremendous amount of raw material: not just the art and the collections that we have, but also the potential of the staff and the board. It’s an institution that can really transform and be different from all of the many wonderful art institutions in New York. The Whitney is small enough to be free of the struggles that bigger institutions face, as well as the complications of bureaucracy. Small institutions are able to get things done very quickly, but we don’t usually have the resources. The wonderful thing about the Whitney is that it’s small enough and large enough at the same time. I like that it’s a family museum; it’s also an international arts institution, and it’s

Go forth where? We Don’t Have Horses in Braddock PA!, 2011, from the portfolio Campaign for Braddock Hospital (Save Our Community Hospital), 2011. Twelve photolithograph and screenprints, 17 x 14 in. (43.2 x 35.6) each. Printed by Rob Swainston, Prints of Darkness © LaToya Ruby Frazier; courtesy the artist.


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Urban Pioneer, 2011, from the portfolio Campaign for Braddock Hospital (Save Our Community Hospital), 2011. Twelve photolithograph and screenprints, 17 x 14 in. (43.2 x 35.6) each. Printed by Rob Swainston, Prints of Darkness © LaToya Ruby Frazier; courtesy the artist.

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very much a New York Museum. I like that New York has been so fantastic about the Whitney. What was your transition from curator to director like? When I worked at the Addison Gallery, it was an easy transition relatively speaking because I was curating about three exhibitions per year. It was a much harder transition to the Whitney, I thought I knew what I was in for. I love what I do and it’s a privilege, but it is really hard. You have to do everything for everybody all of the time. You’re in service for the staff, the trustees, and the public, but that’s how it should be. Life as a director is the same thing in a broader and higher sense with aspirations and major creativity, but it’s a great honor to be able to do that. Doing this at the highest level, in a way that’s not overly encumbered in politics and compromise, is a lot to do this day and age at any museum.

In your opinion, what makes a great curator? It’s all about looking, looking, and looking. Any curator will tell you that you can never stop looking. Like eating three meals a day, you have to view three works of art per day. There has to be a passion that drives you. A good curator does not just look for what they’ve seen before or what will look different from what is expected. It’s about being absorbed in what’s going on in the current culture and understanding that what has happened before is not likely to be exactly what we’re thinking presently. I’ve said not to become a victim of your generation, but that’s the tricky thing, how do you not become a victim of your generation? It’s all about how you step up into the next generation.

Weinberg has curated dozens of exhibitions on artists including Edward Hopper, Isamu Noguchi, Alex Katz, and Terry Winters. He has also organized numerous thematic exhibitions, The Architectural Unconscious: James Casebere and Glen Seator; A Year in the Collection, Circa 1952; Vanishing Presence; and On the Line: The New Color Photojournalism. For the Whitney he organized the groundbreaking series Views from Abroad: European Perspectives on American Art with the Stedlijk Museum, the Museum für Moderne Kunst, and the Tate Gallery. He has also curated major public projects with a broad range of artists including Mark Dion, Jessica Stockholder, Annette Messager, Yoko Ono, and Nam June Paik. He is the author of numerous catalogs and essays on contemporary and modern art. Weinberg has served as a board member of diverse organizations including the American Federation of the Arts; Storm King Art Center; Williamstown Art Conservation Center; Tang Museum, Skidmore College; and the Colby College Museum of Art. He has been a grant panelist for numerous federal, state, city, and private foundations. He holds a BA from Brandeis University and a Master’s degree from the Visual Studies Workshop, the State University of New York at Buffalo.

What advice can you offer emerging photographers and artists who are looking to display their work in a place like the Whitney Museum? My advice would be to do what drives you and discover what your passion is. Whether its photography, drawing, or painting, you have to go wherever your work takes you. I love cameras, I love taking pictures, and I also love the fact that I can now take photographs on my iPhone. It’s all about figuring out what drives you, what interests you visually in the world, and figuring out how to go forward with that. Being in the art world is really, really, really hard and most people do not make a living being an artist. ■

Interview by Andrea Blanch Photograph of Adam Weinberg by Andrea Blanch Photograph of the Whitney Museum by Ed Lederman


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Editors’ Picks Yanina Boldyreva Yanina Boldyreva was born in Novosibirsk, Russia in 1986. In 2009 she graduated from a local university as a mural artist, and has since then worked with different mediums including digital photography, mural painting, and videography. She is an active participant of an art group called LUDISTEN. Yanina has exhibited numerous times in Russia since 2007, including “Files” at NO SOAP gallery in Novosibrisk, “Ise” at Photowall gallery in St. Petersburg, and “The Best of Russia” in Moscow.

Britannie Bond Britannie Bond, has already lived in Las Vegas, Indiana, and San Francisco, before moving to New York City three years ago. Her photography has been her way of transcribing the magnitude of the city into smaller nuanced moments that focus more on the transcendence and spontaneity of her new surroundings. Britannie’s work has been featured in American Theater Magazine, on the cover of Phil Pickens’ debut album Sweet Tea Circus, and at Salt Space Gallery and Limner Gallery in New York. Her newest adventure, called the “Wilderness Project” translates these themes into an animal vocabulary exploring the dense and tangled wilderness of the city and its feral inhabitants.

Lluis Busse Photographer, poet, and visual artist Lluís Bussé was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1961. He holds a PhD in Philosophy and Fine Arts from the Universitat de Barcelona, and has recently published a book of photographs called Barcelona’s Multiverse. Lluís is due to publish a new book of poems in Spain in 2013; select poems will be translated into Romanian later this summer.

Nuno Renato Photographer Nuno Renato was born in Portugal in 1981, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Process Engineering. He moves around frequently, having lived and worked in Portugal, Holland, Czech Republic and Burkina Faso, and currently lives in Paris. Nuno has written numerous essays and exhibited throughout Europe, such as “Évora” in Portugal, “Home” in Czech Republic and France, and “Flat Land” in the Netherlands. He has worked with such artists as Philippe Bachelier and Carlo Werner and continues to pursue his interest in writing and photography.

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BETH RUDIN DeWOODY Beth Rudin DeWoody is native of New York, as well as a renowned art collector and curator. DeWoody studied at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she majored in anthropology and film studies. She completed her studies at the New School for Social Research in New York City, where she received her B.A. in Liberal Arts. DeWoody began working between film assignments at Rudin Management for the accounting department, in addition to leasing apartments. She later joined the company full-time in 1982 as a managing agent. She is now President of The Rudin Family Foundations and Executive Vice President of Rudin Management Company. DeWoody has curated shows for numerous art galleries between New York City and New Orleans including: “Inspired” at Steven Kasher Gallery, “Hunt & Chase” at Salomon Contemporary in East Hampton, and “Pink Show” at Sarah Gavlak Gallery to name a few. Currently, there is a showing of her collection of California art from the 1940’s to 1980’s at the Parrish Museum in Southampton entitled EST-3, which was curated by David Pagel.

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Ross Bleckner has said that you have the “sensibility of an artist”, why is that? I went to Steiner from kindergarten to 7th grade. Art was very important. We had to draw pictures for each subject, we learned how to knit, crochet, sew, woodworking, candle making, etc from the earliest grades. Boys and girls both did the same things. We learned how to sing and eurhythmics, which is a form of dance movement, so the arts were a very important early influence. How do you see yourself? I see myself as a collector, a curator, and a philanthropist – that’s the business I have. In my collecting I like to help young artists. Although by buying their work, I wouldn’t necessarily call it philanthropy, but I think it helps artists in that sense.

It’s wonderful in terms of networking and just to hone in on your craft. Is there anything about the art world today that you would change, if you could? In the earlier days, the 70’s, when I began collecting, there wasn’t such a big emphasis on the money part and the success of your career; the urgency of “you have to get this artist now” before their prices go up. Artists had more time to really work and develop their style; there wasn’t that pressure on them. You find artists who all of a sudden have something great happen with their careers, causing their prices to jump, and then looking to switch galleries. They are focusing more on the monetary value than focusing more on their art. Which I think is not such a great thing. Do you think that’s prevalent?

So when people say that you nurture young artists, is that what they’re referring to? Yes, I try to help. I buy the work, I advise them, I make the connections, help them network, things like that. Or, I put them in shows that I curate. How important is it for an artist to go to grad school? Does that mean everything to you? I know that it does to some people, but how do you see it? I think higher education is always wonderful and for artists to be in an environment with other artists can be influential; with wonderful teachers it is a great thing. Some artists flourish under it. It’s always great to make those connections, because your peers will recommend you. If they are going to be in a show they will say “I had a classmate who was great and you should put them in a show too.”

I think it happens, yes. I have no problem with an artist becoming successful, being in shows, and doing things. I find that sometimes you go to a gallery and they say “oh, we have this new artist” and you look at the prices and they are crazy; it’s ten thousand dollars for a painting and he/she is not even out of grad school yet. It’s just crazy. Do you buy with your gut or instinctually? Do you research? I don’t do a lot of research; it’s mostly my gut. I am certainly open to recommendations from people. I’ll hear from other collectors “you should look at this artist or curator” or “this is somebody that we are looking at so you should take a look.’” I’m always open to any form of input and recommendations on artists. Visually, when I go to a gallery and I look at something, its mostly gut. It’s funny because the show I went to last night at a gallery downtown, I was


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Musée Magazine picking out different works that I liked and I had them hung up. So I kind of re-hung the show, and I thought that these look really great together. I bought the whole bunch of them and felt that it looked better than the way it was originally hung and became a kind of pattern. I have a definite, distinct, visual thing that influences me, and it’s hard to explain what that is. Do you buy any work from emerging artists that are not represented by galleries? Sure, a lot of times. I will go to group shows or different events, I will meet an artist, ask if they are in a gallery, and many times they will reply “no”; so I’ll go to their studios. My first Cohenda Whiley painting was right from his studio. I was introduced to him by Simon Watson. Simon and I have gone around quite a bit to look at artists in their own studios. It’s fantastic. He has been very helpful in placing them. There is an artist that I am trying to help right now, he’s not really young, but he needs a gallery and I’ve been trying to do that too. What do you do, rotate your art? Yes, I’ll re-hang. Not everything, but here and there, constantly. What advice would you give a young collector? Look, look, look. Go to shows and museums to see what they are looking at, go to fairs, and trust your gut. There is plenty of art at very inexpensive price levels. I buy drawings for only a few hundred dollars, the Affordable Art Fairs are great. Don’t buy with the idea that it is going to go up in value or not, buy what you love and what you want to hang up.

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What advice would you give to emerging photographers starting out in their career? Take pictures that have meaning to you. It’s like what you would say to a writer “write what you know”; photograph what you know. Again you need to look, look, look. Be influenced by things but develop your own style. I think all artists should go to openings so they can network and meet people. What would you say to people who are intimidated by contemporary art? Get involved with a museum group. There are different levels of membership. The Whitney has the contemporaries that you can join for not very much each year, and it’s great for networking and meeting new people. You start to get invited to studio visits and different events where you will be with the curators. Again, keep going to shows and don’t be intimidated, it’s not like you have to understand. Some people think that you have to look at something and understand it. Now, conceptual art may have a message within the work, however, a seasoned art looker might not see the message until they hear it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in galleries. Go to someone and say, “I think this is really nice, but I would like to know more about what the artist is saying within the work”, and they will be happy to talk about it. Read the info sheets they have, that’s basically how you do it. What’s really interesting is that sometimes you will see the work differently from what you find out is behind it. It becomes much more interesting when the gallerist or the artist says to you what they were trying to do, or what they were saying, and their influences. Then you go “oh wow, that’s so interesting”.

So the back-story is important? Well it is, but you also need the visual. If you have a great back-story and the visual isn’t that interesting, you’re not going to be that interested.

What about the reverse? Yes, that’s fine too, because you could love a painting while the artist has a certain thing in mind but you see it in a different way. You could not really care about what it says because you’re visually attracted to it, and that’s fine too. The whole idea is that you hang it and look at it; it has to be something that moves you and you will not get tired or sick of. People shouldn’t be scared of making mistakes because a lot of times you’ll buy something, think it’s fabulous, and fall in love with the piece. But after a while you might not be crazy about it. You might go to a gallery and say “I’ve lived with this piece and I really like this artist, but can I look at other work by this artist and want to trade it in for something else. Or maybe you can sell this for me and I’ll buy something different”, and that’s fine too.

What do you think of Damion Hirst putting all of his stuff right to auction and bypassing Larry? Somehow I think Larry was involved with it. What is the most unusual piece within your collection? (Laughs) Everything is unusual, that’s truly hard to answer. What is the first thing you do in the morning?

What’s the most sentimental or most important material possession that you have? Something that, if everything else was burned down or destroyed, you would take? It would be the art created by my children. Do you feel that your tastes have evolved over the years? Yes, they have definitely evolved. However, everything I bought in the 70’s I still love. I just think it has opened up to more things; there is a lot of great art out there. I’ve always collected historically and contemporary. As I get older I learn more about different periods and different things, but even from a young age I’ve loved pop art. I guess I just trust more in my eye and what I’m looking at. What do you think about the way photography is going directionally as opposed to making images with satellites and drones, which is considered photography within the 21st century? Photography has evolved a lot. A lot of people felt that photography was only journalistic but then, fashion photography became a form of art as well. People use new technology. Photography was once a new technology and now there is digital as opposed to analog. I think that whatever is out there to use, you should use. Has the new digital world affected Feruse? Yes, the thing is, is that he loves analog photography, but you can’t be in his business without shooting digital these days. Everything has to be done quickly.

Well, it depends on the morning. Some mornings I exercise; some mornings I get a massage, if I’m lucky. Sometimes I just answer my emails and read the newspaper. It just depends.   No.

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Musée Magazine Do you have any plans for your collection? Well I’m working on that, (laughs) I have to have a powwow with my kids and with museums. I would like a lot of it go to different museums, and I give away things now and then. I just have to figure out what I have to do. A lot of it will probably go to the Whitney, the Norton, and the Parrish. Any habits that you would like to break? The shopping habit; the feeling that I have to have it.

Is there anything about your life that you do not like? Yes, I don’t like the hustle and bustle that much. I think I travel to get away from those obligations. Not that I don’t like keeping busy and doing stuff, it’s just that sometimes it gets overwhelming. The paper work just gets crazy. ■

Interview by Andrea Blanch Photography by Andrea Blanch Beth Rudin DeWoody’s board affiliations include the Whitney Museum of American Art, New Yorkers for Children, Inc., New York Children’s Foundation, Creative Time, Find Your Voice, Inc., the New School University, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Design Museum Holon Israel, Save A Child America Inc., and The Police Foundation. She serves on the Parsons Board of Governors of the New School University, is a Member of the Committee for the University Art Collection, and is on the Photography Steering Committee at the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach, Florida. Her professional affiliations include being charter member of New York Women Executives in Real Estate. DeWoody is Chairman of the Arts and Culture Committee of the Association for a Better New York (ABNY), is on the Council of Conservators of both the New York Public Library and the Library Association of MOMA.

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Jun-Jun Sta. Ana Title: Object 1, Pasay City Hall Contact:   No.

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Robert Christian Malmberg Title: Television in Puddle. Jackson, WY Contact: 206  MusÊe

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Robert Christian Malmberg Title: Aspen Trees in Autumn Contact:   No.

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Charlie Rubin Title: Untitled Contact: 208  MusÊe

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Charlie Rubin Title: Untitled Contact:

Clark Winter Title: Untitled Contact:

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next issue

The next issue will feature images depicting attachments to people, places, and things. This could get personal. Submission deadline is August 4th 2012. We look forward to seeing your work! MusĂŠe Magazine No. 4 is coming in September 2012.

1. Submit at least 5 images based on the current theme. 2. All photos should be specifically crafted for this publication and should not include watermarks. 3. Title and contact information that you would want published. 4. E-mail images to:

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